The University of Virginia is holding a number of activities in reminder of the “Unite the Right” rally of August 11 and 12, 2017, including an art exhibition and a panel discussion hosted by the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy and the UVA Jewish Studies program.
The 2017 incident, hosted by neo-Nazis and white supremacists, resulted in the deaths of local resident Heather Heyer, Virginia State Police Lieutenant Pilot H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper Pilot Berke M. Bates.
“I know that, for many, the five-year marker of the so-called “Unite the Right” rally brings difficult memories and a sobering reminder that our country is not yet free from bigotry, racism, and intolerance,” wrote UVA President Jim Ryan in a letter to the community. “But I hope that we can also recall the strength, compassion, and resilience of our community and our Charlottesville neighbors. Faculty, staff, students, and community members raised funds for victims, held vigils and remembrances, and hosted conversations that sought to understand why and how those terrible events came to pass. The University also took important steps to make sure our Grounds were safer and more secure, in an effort to help ensure those events would never happen again.”
Ryan asked for a moment of silence on Thursday after the UVA Chapel clock struck noon in memory of those who were lost or suffered during the incident.
“Following that moment of silence, the Chapel bells will ring again in remembrance of this solemn anniversary,” Ryan wrote.